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Bob,

 

When I bought my 63 from the original owner (back in 82) it was equipped with a full complement of gauges* - oil, temp, amp, tach, and vacuum. All five of these were in the ash tray opening.  The lid would close, and they had their own lights and light switch.  With the lid closed, you could not tell they were there.  I only removed them because an electrical short (positive battery cable next to fender) blew out the amp meter.  If you'd like, I'll try to find a picture of the cluster and post it.  I don't know that you'd need the tach and vacuum gauge, but an oil pressure, volt meter, and temperature gauge do would be good if you've got a few miles on the engine. It couldn't hurt.

 

Ed

 

* along with an electric trailer brake setup, a full hitch receiver, and a transmission cooler.  Yes, he towed a trailer with it; a full sized Airstream. And he installed a 3.91 rear end to keep the revs up. He learned that lugging the engine under a load (towing) would cause valves to burn.

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1 hour ago, Red Riviera Bob said:

Ed, I was going to put on mechanical gauges on my 63 Riviera. The car did not come with gauges nor did the manufacturer think the car would last this long. Any case, I decided against putting the gauges on and figured if I kept close eye and ear on everything the car should be fine. No argument the 10W 40 would provide more oil pressure and that is good for the engine. if I could find a hide out space for the gauges I'd revisit the idea. I do not like modifying my car in the least. Thank you

RRB

I bought a second ashtray “compartment” for my 63. Took out the original, modified the second one to have an oil and a water meter in it and put that in.

I can easily revert back to original whilst being able to monitor what I see as important (and hide the meters by folding down the ashtray cover if I so like). Maybe something for you to consider.

 

Btw the oil pressure sensor was easy to connect together with the original and the temperature sensor was put in the rear of the engine such that both the original idiot lights are still functioning.

https://www.autometer.com/2-1-16-oil-press-0-100-psi-fse-am-muscle.html

 

https://www.autometer.com/2-1-16-water-temp-100-260-f-fse-am-muscle.html

 

Edited by SwedeDownUnderR63 (see edit history)
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19 hours ago, SwedeDownUnderR63 said:

I bought a second ashtray “compartment” for my 63. Took out the original, modified the second one to have an oil and a water meter in it and put that in.

I can easily revert back to original whilst being able to monitor what I see as important (and hide the meters by folding down the ashtray cover if I so like). Maybe something for you to consider.

 

Btw the oil pressure sensor was easy to connect together with the original and the temperature sensor was put in the rear of the engine such that both the original idiot lights are still functioning.

https://www.autometer.com/2-1-16-oil-press-0-100-psi-fse-am-muscle.html

 

https://www.autometer.com/2-1-16-water-temp-100-260-f-fse-am-muscle.html

 

Mr SwedeDownunder, thank you for the response and good idea. Currently, I'm using the ash tray as a kill switch mount. I put loose coins on top to hide the switch and offer a spare key that lays on top of the coins all along the kill switch is activated. Your idea is certainly food for thought to remove the ash tray and put in the gauges. Thank you for the link the gauges. The gauges certainly look like a competent pair.

Red Riviera Bob

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What good are gauges IF you can't just take a glance at them without taking your eyes off the road while driving???? That's what they are there for. I have two mechanical "Mini" gauges in front of my headlight switch in the upper left hand corner. On a '63 there is NOTHING in that spot so it interferes with NOTHING.

I will try & post pictures. Some have seen them at a few Riv. meets & thought it was very ingenious. In my view doesn't hamper the looks but, enhances the intended use. I leave my "Idiot" lights hooked up also because IF for some reason I'm NOT paying attention a red light will catch your eye. I DON'T use an amp/volt gauge. IF the amp light comes on I have some time to decide what I'm ultimately going to do. So in MY MIND it's NOT as important to me personally.  On the other hand oil pressure & coolant temp. are the IMPORTANT READINGS!!!!

Once you get use to them you can tell at a glance if something is NOT RIGHT. For instance in my case if I'm down a qt. of oil my O/P is down about 1-2pds. I can watch my temp. gauge rise & fall when my t/stat opens or when going up a long grade or coasting down a hill.

 

 

Tom T.

 

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8 hours ago, telriv said:

What good are gauges IF you can't just take a glance at them without taking your eyes off the road while driving???? That's what they are there for. I have two mechanical "Mini" gauges in front of my headlight switch in the upper left hand corner. On a '63 there is NOTHING in that spot so it interferes with NOTHING.

I will try & post pictures. Some have seen them at a few Riv. meets & thought it was very ingenious. In my view doesn't hamper the looks but, enhances the intended use. I leave my "Idiot" lights hooked up also because IF for some reason I'm NOT paying attention a red light will catch your eye. I DON'T use an amp/volt gauge. IF the amp light comes on I have some time to decide what I'm ultimately going to do. So in MY MIND it's NOT as important to me personally.  On the other hand oil pressure & coolant temp. are the IMPORTANT READINGS!!!!

Once you get use to them you can tell at a glance if something is NOT RIGHT. For instance in my case if I'm down a qt. of oil my O/P is down about 1-2pds. I can watch my temp. gauge rise & fall when my t/stat opens or when going up a long grade or coasting down a hill.

 

 

Tom T.

 

I would like to see a picture of that tom.thanks

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Well, if your gauges are by the headlight switch, then you have to take your eyes off the road to look at them.  Unless you have chameleon eyes.  ;)

 

F1.large.jpg?width=800&height=600&carousel=1

 

Maybe a heads-up display is what you're looking for?

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12 hours ago, telriv said:

What good are gauges IF you can't just take a glance at them without taking your eyes off the road while driving???? That's what they are there for. I have two mechanical "Mini" gauges in front of my headlight switch in the upper left hand corner. On a '63 there is NOTHING in that spot so it interferes with NOTHING.

I will try & post pictures. Some have seen them at a few Riv. meets & thought it was very ingenious. In my view doesn't hamper the looks but, enhances the intended use. I leave my "Idiot" lights hooked up also because IF for some reason I'm NOT paying attention a red light will catch your eye. I DON'T use an amp/volt gauge. IF the amp light comes on I have some time to decide what I'm ultimately going to do. So in MY MIND it's NOT as important to me personally.  On the other hand oil pressure & coolant temp. are the IMPORTANT READINGS!!!!

Once you get use to them you can tell at a glance if something is NOT RIGHT. For instance in my case if I'm down a qt. of oil my O/P is down about 1-2pds. I can watch my temp. gauge rise & fall when my t/stat opens or when going up a long grade or coasting down a hill.

 

 

Tom T.

 

Hi Tom,

I am afraid that it is an illusion if one think that one still have the eyes on the road while looking at any instrument. That is probably why so many nowadays thinks they can text and drive without any issues but they are just fooled by how our brain works. Admittedly your setup will minimize the time getting the information compared to my setup which, admittedly, will take longer and increase the risk.

However, I do get the benefit of being able to look at the oil pressure at startup and I can also see it with not that much of a risk at lower speeds to get an understanding of where it is at. I am also more concerned with the temperature at lower speeds and especially at stand still. As for you I still have the idiots lights that will alert me when something goes really bad. I am spoiled as I have the pleasure of traveling most of the time with my wife who also look at the gauges from time to time although probably not very frequent as she enjoys the Riviera rides too much.

 

I am still interested in seeing your setup and would appreciate any pictures. I did investigate different options that would have allowed me to get the information that I wanted without impact on the, in my view, beautiful instrument layout in my 63 but couldn't find anything better then what I selected. The -63 Riviera that I had in Sweden between 1976 and 1982 came (from previous owner) with the gauges on top of the dash which was very effective from an information point of view but looked really crappy. I do love the functions of the Dakota Digital replacement instruments but couldn't get myself to go down that road as my car would have lost some of the soul that I love so much.

http://www.dakotadigital.com/index.cfm/page/ptype=product/product_id=997/category_id=411/mode=prod/prd997.htm

Edited by SwedeDownUnderR63 (see edit history)
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12 hours ago, SwedeDownUnderR63 said:

I am afraid that it is an illusion if one think that one still have the eyes on the road while looking at any instrument.

 

Concur.  You take your eyes off the road to use the mirrors, look at the speedometer, check the gas, turn on the wipers, adjust the radio, change the HVAC settings, read signs, etc.  A driver who never takes his eyes off the road in front of him (assuming that guy actually exists) is one who isn't very in tune with either his car or conditions around him.

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I COMPLETELY DIS-AGREE WITH ANYBODY WHO SAYS I HAVE TO TAKE MY EYES OFF THE ROAD. THESE ARE ANALOG GAUGES & IF YOU KNOW YOUR CAR/GAUGES YOU WILL KNOW WITH YOUR PEREIFIAL VISION IF SOMETHING IS AMISS WITHOUT TAKING YOUR EYES OFF THE ROAD.

END OF THIS SUBJECT FOR ME.

 

Tom T.

 

 

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If you don't ocassionlly divert your eyes, you'll pretty much become catatonic.  I'd go so farvtonsay that if you were never to glance at your instrument panel, the car manufacturer would build all the cars info into a set of earphones.  Then you wouldn't need a radio, cup holders, window switches, etc.  Did you ever wonder why interstate highways aren't built in a perfectly straight line?  It's to keep you alert.  Otherwise, you'd be falling asleep at the wheel. (And I don't need any Ray Benson references!)

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Sorry, I didn't have any intention of starting a heated discussion about how we drive and perceive reality. I too think it is important to look at other things than blindly concentrate on the road which is likely to, as Ed mention, get us to " be falling asleep at the wheel ".

I would also be delighted to go for a ride with Tom if that opportunity ever materialize and, as mentioned, I do think his setup is a better practical solution than mine and hope that he can get his camera to upload a picture or two of the setup.

 

I always need to be extremely alert the last 10km (~6miles) to my home as I am driving through the most kangaroo infested area in Australia. There are normally close to 50 dead kangaroos at the side of this highly used country road (some on it too) that are constantly being replaced by 2+ new ones every week. I lower the speed, avoid driving in the dark and bad weather but still I had a kangaroo jumping into the right hand door skin a few years ago whilst getting out of our gate at ~10kph (6mph), I did notice it in my peripheral vision but not a chance to do that much when it comes in from the side. This is probably one of the reasons why I am so concerned with having the eyes on the road and use my "special" instruments in the way as mentioned above. Kangaroos are nice but not on the road, maybe I should be glad that we don't have any moose here.

 

Anyhow, sorry if I upset anyone. That wasn't my intention. I am certain that most, maybe all, of us car lowers are really good drivers as we do love our cars.

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In the 1950's the big pick up lie was "I was a fighter pilot in WWII". Get that impressionable girl in your car with the array of analog gauges, bombsight shift indicators, and all that techie stuff.

 

Me, I shoveled coal into the ship's boilers. No gauges, but the car was upscale a notch or two. The impressionable girl's father looked between the Venetian blinds at the boy's Riviera in the driveway. The girl ran into the house all giggly and Dad said "Nice car that boy has." She said "It's got door handles in the back seat!" Yep, he was impressionable. Married her anyway. Didn't need no gauges, still don't.

019.thumb.jpg.eadaa6a757d1be7f4ee13bed01ff8b6a.jpg

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10 minutes ago, SwedeDownUnderR63 said:

Sorry, I didn't have any intention of starting a heated discussion about how we drive and perceive reality.

Nah, that's fine. You get a chance to "gauge" their reactions. AND some of those red corpuscles get warmed up.

 

Isn't Tidaholm, Sweden where they started making matches. A little fire don't hurt.

Bernie

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I think that you'd all be impressed if Tom were to tell you who chose to ride with him on a part of a Power Tour some years ago.  It might not have been "THE" Power Tour, but it was something similar.

 

 

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I switched to synthetic 25+ years back .....when Mobil 1 and Amsoil were the only players.    An article in a racing magazine was enough to convince me they were at least worth the extra $$

The article used industrial (SAE?) testing for oil and there were several test showing the superior performance of the synthetics...

The main one I remember...... the test used two round solid blocks of steel.   The bottom one was stationary and the upper one turned at a specified RPM,  oil was covered the face of the bottom block and the top one

was then lowered with a preload.....to pass the test the oil could not fail... for a specific time (at the given RPM and pressure)   failure was the oil being displaced and the blocks would overheat and damage the surface of the blocks.

The synthetics had no problem passing,  so they increased the load (don't recall the numbers) and ran it until it failed.......which was several times longer than the standard test, even with a higher preload 

Very impressive.

I don't know if synthetic makes sense in a collector car that is only driven 200-500 miles per year,  although it might make perfect sense since they sit for weeks at a time without being started and the synthetic might give you added protection at that point.

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On 10/17/2018 at 2:41 AM, SwedeDownUnderR63 said:

Hi Tom,

I am afraid that it is an illusion if one think that one still have the eyes on the road while looking at any instrument. That is probably why so many nowadays thinks they can text and drive without any issues but they are just fooled by how our brain works. Admittedly your setup will minimize the time getting the information compared to my setup which, admittedly, will take longer and increase the risk.

However, I do get the benefit of being able to look at the oil pressure at startup and I can also see it with not that much of a risk at lower speeds to get an understanding of where it is at. I am also more concerned with the temperature at lower speeds and especially at stand still. As for you I still have the idiots lights that will alert me when something goes really bad. I am spoiled as I have the pleasure of traveling most of the time with my wife who also look at the gauges from time to time although probably not very frequent as she enjoys the Riviera rides too much.

 

I am still interested in seeing your setup and would appreciate any pictures. I did investigate different options that would have allowed me to get the information that I wanted without impact on the, in my view, beautiful instrument layout in my 63 but couldn't find anything better then what I selected. The -63 Riviera that I had in Sweden between 1976 and 1982 came (from previous owner) with the gauges on top of the dash which was very effective from an information point of view but looked really crappy. I do love the functions of the Dakota Digital replacement instruments but couldn't get myself to go down that road as my car would have lost some of the soul that I love so much.

http://www.dakotadigital.com/index.cfm/page/ptype=product/product_id=997/category_id=411/mode=prod/prd997.htm

 

10 hours ago, telriv said:

I COMPLETELY DIS-AGREE WITH ANYBODY WHO SAYS I HAVE TO TAKE MY EYES OFF THE ROAD. THESE ARE ANALOG GAUGES & IF YOU KNOW YOUR CAR/GAUGES YOU WILL KNOW WITH YOUR PEREIFIAL VISION IF SOMETHING IS AMISS WITHOUT TAKING YOUR EYES OFF THE ROAD.

END OF THIS SUBJECT FOR ME.

 

Tom T.

 

 

Tom, I know what you mean and you mean what you say. I'm not good enough with words to describe in vision terms "eyes on the road" and still be aware of what the gauges read. I would say a person has a panoramic view with the gauges in the picture and still able to concentrate on the road ahead. I agree with your explanation describing what you see and what you are aware of on the gauges. Being able to tell the EXACT degree of water temp on the gauge while concentrating on the road ahead may not be possible. However, I would say you can tell from the gauges when she's runnin' hot while still keeping your eyes on the road ahead. ( I can tell when she's runnin' hot when steam comes rolling out from under the hood - only kidding )

Now there may be those will maintain what I say is not accurate regarding panoramic view of the road and gauges. Those that cannot understand seeing the gauge and the road ahead at the same time have what is known is a myopic view.

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I know what my oil pressure, coolant temp. & speed are at ALL times. For the most part I don't use the speedo for speed but, use the tach. I know at what RPM's are at what MPH depending on rear gear ratio. Don't forget I've owned this car for more than 50yrs. with over 300K so I think I know my particular vehicle VERY WELL!!!

 

Tom T.

 

 

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IMHO, one of the best place for a gauge in these cars is the clock opening.  Although if you want more than one gauge there, you might have to go digital.  Which kinda spoils the vibe -- but so does almost any other location.  Console, ashtray, knee-knockers, hanging from the upper lip; they're all aesthetically problematic.

 

OTOH, if you're that worried that something may go that far south so quickly that only a gauge can save you from imminent destruction, maybe you should maintain your car better. ? 

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On 9/30/2018 at 7:35 PM, Bdad said:

I've been reading posts and doing some research on oil and filter choices for 63-64-65 Riv's. I see comments about the possible need/value of adding zinc while others disagree. I've read that using the Diesel version of some oils is good. Some comments about high mileage and some about synthetic blends. Filters - I see negative comments about Fram with positives about Napa Gold and some others. I read a post that showed data on multiple different oils with ratings relating to the degree of protection showing that the higher the score (i..e. over 90,000 is excellent) but the oils that fit that profile appear to be mostly racing oils. If one should add zinc how much...because it appears to much is harmful.

 

So...I'm not coming away with any sort of consensus (which there may not be). I am looking to make sure that when I finally purchase my 63-64-65 Riv I know what good choices for oil/filter on. Weather where I live: Pacific NW.

 

Appreciate some clarity if possible.

Sir, I'm afraid there are a lot of companies trying to get your dollar for their oil product(s). I'm NOT sure there is clarity, at least for me. I'm not sure there are any specific data gathering for engine lubricants by a disinterested party to evaluate what is the best lubricant for our vintage nailhead engines. Synthetic or conventional, don't know which is best for a 55 + nailhead engine. Personally, I use a conventional multi viscosity oil by the same manufacturer. I change the filter every time I change I the oil. I keep oil change records and I change the oil and filter often in my 63 Riviera. I don't run the engine low on oil or coolant, ever. There could be an edge with one brand over an another or synthetic or conventional oil selection. After 54 year of driving all kinds of cars, pick up trucks, and motorcycles I haven't had any problems with engines giving out before I was finished with the engine. There are others that have more experience and knowledge on the subject so you have a lot of good info to digest to determine what is best for you.

RRB

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4 hours ago, KongaMan said:

IMHO, one of the best place for a gauge in these cars is the clock opening.  Although if you want more than one gauge there, you might have to go digital.  Which kinda spoils the vibe -- but so does almost any other location.  Console, ashtray, knee-knockers, hanging from the upper lip; they're all aesthetically problematic.

 

OTOH, if you're that worried that something may go that far south so quickly that only a gauge can save you from imminent destruction, maybe you should maintain your car better. ? 

Mr Konga Man, A while back I saw a car that had the gauges peeking out from under a dome on the hood!  The dome was on the hood in front of the driver.I think it was a Trans AM or some kind of car like that. I'm sure the gauges were lighted so you could see the gauges at night. One of my buddies told me VW had gauges that had an idiot light built in the gauge. I think VW may have had something there with that idea. Your idea of keeping the car maintained is another good idea gauges or not. All of us have choices.

RRB

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16 hours ago, KongaMan said:

OTOH, if you're that worried that something may go that far south so quickly that only a gauge can save you from imminent destruction, maybe you should maintain your car better.

 

With digital gauges one should be able to program trigger points that would display a list of things to check if the readings are out of a set parameter. Oil pressure under 5 PSIG- check oil level, charging at a negative rate- see if the belt is on; all those  things that can happen while you drive along. Press the button twice for instructions on how to open the hood.

 

I am going to use the term "aesthetically problematic". My first thought was "tacky", but after thinking about it, there are so many opportunities to bring it into a conversation. Maybe I will spring it on the waitress at lunch today. I had better wear my sport coat with patches on the sleeves if I am going to toss out terms like that.

Bernie

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1 hour ago, telriv said:

Being my car has over 300K on it I don't believe I need to do maintain it any better.

That is very impressive Tom! 425 or 401 ? Ever been rebuilt? To what would you most attribute  such longivity ? Im trying to keep from rebuilding mine ( 425) for as long as i can. So far, im at about 140k . I change the oil every 3k miles , keep her tuned as best i can, rarely drive over 70 mph. In short, i baby my car. Thanks in advance for any pointers.

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Smiths has a dual gauge, oil pressure and water temp. I think it's around 2". Meant for MG's and the ilk. Nice gauge, clear lettering and 180 degree sweep for both gauges. Fits perfectly in the clock hole. I'm trying to decide if I want to use a clock blank punched out, or just let it sit flush with the dash. I'll post pics once I get it figured out. I've had oil pressure plastic tubes pop off, i'm using grease gun hose for the oil pressure now. The water temp sender takes some obscure metric to NPT fitting to adapt to the engine block.

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Here is a picture of my setup. Oil and temp in my "spare" ashtray compartment. As you might see any extra instrument setup in the upper left corner isn't practical on my '63 with cruise control. The dual gauge in the clock might have been a good solution for me if it was reversible but I am happy with the setup that I have, looking forward to see what Steve Gunnoe (jsgun) will end up with .

IMG_4001.jpg

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7 hours ago, SwedeDownUnderR63 said:

Here is a picture of my setup. Oil and temp in my "spare" ashtray compartment. As you might see any extra instrument setup in the upper left corner isn't practical on my '63 with cruise control. The dual gauge in the clock might have been a good solution for me if it was reversible but I am happy with the setup that I have, looking forward to see what Steve Gunnoe (jsgun) will end up with .

IMG_4001.jpg

Jan, 

On your non a/c car, you could adapt a guage where the a/c vent would be.

 

30-1430.jpg.d7cd9c786d100f4ed8bd57b3bc380230.jpg

 

Or you could retro fit something like this.  The only thing I don't like is that the odometer is digital ?

 

 

autometer-american-muscle-5-dual-quad-gauge-speedometer-tachometer-oil-pressure-water-temp-voltmeter-fuel-level-1.jpg.83cc52bc39756f62f3082556682f8eab.jpg

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Ed,

my car will have vintage air a/c in a year or two as driving in Australia without it isn’t as fun as it was in much colder Sweden. You might have seen elsewhere that I am slowly converting it with fan shroud and other parts already in place under the hood. The internal will look stock a/c in the end (I already have all parts for that) so none of your suggestions are an alternative for me.

 

It is strange how the look of the car got stuck in my brain when I bought my first ‘63 as a teenager, the autometer gauges look very nice and I was consider them for a while but went with their oil and water gauges in the ashtray instead to minimize the esthetic impact.

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10 minutes ago, KongaMan said:

 

And the speedo only goes to 120. ;) 

My tires are only rated to 112. ? My brain is probably rated to 85 and my headlights are the originals which are good for 55. I could live with 120.

 

There are quite a few other dual quad guage sets that have 140 mph speedometer and analog odometer but I thought these looked fairly close to the originals. Like these but this setup doesnt have the Tech built in.

 

at52slc.jpg.1f12330a4c2fbd41de5141c888ba491a.jpg

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There's a guy on V8Buick that converts the right side idiot lights to gauges for the '63&'64 gauge assemblies. I think he is known by Wildcat 64. He uses the stock original housing & installs gauges.

 

Tom T.

 

 

 

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Here's a picture of the conversion to which Tom made reference.  It appears that in order to contact him you'll have to do it through the V8Buick forum.  He states in one of his threads that these are '64 OEM units.'  Wonder from what make/model he pulled tthem? 

 

782266200_customgagecluster.jpg.4cd166acddda8f1fc062287c9abd1616.jpg

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